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From: Vol.07 N.01 – Plant Poetics


by Michael Leach

Luscious                  Beautiful

blushing spider orchids                   kangaroo apples.          

  (Caladenia lorea)                   (Solanum aviculare)

 spread leggy pink petals                    bear purple flowers & red-

             on a Western Australian                    orange fruit amidst this east coast

sandplain.                   rainforest.


  Bristling                   Flamboyant

red toothbrushes                    firewheel trees. 

(Grevillea hookeriana)                   (Stenocarpus sinuatus)

    brush passers-by                   boast scarlet spokes

     in the depths of a dry                   in the heart of the humid

summer.                   tropics.   


Upstanding                     Elegant.            

scarlet banksias                     bleeding-heart trees

      (Banksia coccinea)                     (Homalanthus populifolius)

raise up squat, cylindrical                      warmly welcome weekend.    

pincushions in a native                      visitors in a native.               

backyard.                     front yard.      


Hardy                    Hardy        

tubada plants                    burrawang plants.

(Melaleuca phonicea)                    (Macrozamia communis).    

grow green-blue leaves & red-                    grow green fern-like leaves.            

   purple bottlebrush flowers                     & cantaloupe-coloured, pineapple-

           beside this west coast                     shaped cones amidst this east coast

watercourse.                    rainforest.             


Fiery                     A rosy        

lemon-scented myrtle                     Sydney rose                         

responding to its                    responding to its            

botanical name – Darwinia                     botanical name – Boronia                

citriodora – is just as lemony                    serrulata – is just as sweet.                

and significantly more                     and dramatically more             

taxonomic.                     taxonomic.            


The red-and-green kangaroo paw                     The New South Wales waratah                 

(Anigozanthos manglesii)                     (Telopea speciosissima)                

is blossoming with long, curved                     is blossoming with a fluoro red              

mammalian fingers, its morphology                     flower arrangement, its morphology            

singularly spectacular                      singularly spectacular             


& emblematic.          

Published: March 2020
Michael Leach

is Bendigo-based poet, statistician, and researcher who enjoys combining science with art. His poems have appeared in Cordite, Meniscus, the Medical Journal of Australia, the Antarctic Poetry Exhibition, New Shoots Garden of Poems, and elsewhere. Michael’s debut poetry collection – a chapbook – is forthcoming from Melbourne Poets Union.

An Australian and international
journal of ecopoetry and ecopoetics.

Plumwood Mountain Journal is created on the unceded lands of the Gadigal and Wangal people of the Eora Nation. We pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and to elders past, present and future. We also acknowledge all traditional custodians of the lands this journal reaches.